Save the Grey Partridge – support biodiversity on farmland (2021–2029)

The Grey Partridge has suffered a considerable decline over the past decades. In Germany the species population decreased by more than 90% since the 1980s. The most important driver of this decline is assumed to be a simplification of agricultural landscapes including the loss of fallows, low hedges and field margins. The Department of Conservation Biology has teamed up with Dachverband Deutscher Avifaunisten (DDA) and Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege (DLV) to support the remaining wild Grey Partridge populations.

Twelve regional project sites over the whole Federal Republic have been identified that are involved in Grey Partridge conservation in an area of >100 km². In 2022, the project teams were trained and supported to create the best possible conditions for a successful implementation of conservation measures.

10 project areas are now selected for implementation of measures for farmland bird conservation. The goal is covering 7% of arable land with flower blocks and fallows. The large-scale experiment covers an area larger than the Saarland. We will detect the effects of habitat improvement by monitoring of partridges, other breeding birds and insects (selected group: moths). The team of the university Göttingen will run an own project area close to Göttingen, collect and analyse the data from all project sites and publish papers and recommendations for farmland conservation.

The project is funded within the framework of the „Bundesprogramm Biologische Vielfalt“ by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with funding by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). Additional funding is provided by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Lower Saxony, the Bavarian Fund for Nature Conservation, the Manfred-Hermsen-Foundation and the German Order of Falcons.

Project homepage (in German)

Involved researchers
Andreas Wiedenmann, Eckhard Gottschalk, Amelie Laux, Lena Zander, Ellyne Geurts